Department of History

Constance Furey

  • Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of History


  • Ph.D. at University of Chicago, 2000

Contact Information

Sycamore Hall, Rm. 227
(812) 855-6678


Constance Furey

I study how religious ideas and practices influence how people live in the world and understand themselves in relation to others. My first book examined how scholarly Catholics throughout Europe were inspired by their spiritual ideals and intellectual work to create a distinctive religious community—a Religious Republic of Letters—as other groups were unleashing the religious revolution known as the Protestant Reformation. The book I’m currently writing focuses on Renaissance England and explores how devotional poetry became a venue that both male and female writers used to craft a sense of self and of community. In this, as in my other research projects, I am interested in thinking about how religiously-motivated ideals and assumptions should be understood in relation to a whole host of social developments, ranging from the advent of print and new kinds of literary authority to the celebration of friendship and changing roles for women.

My interest in theory as well as historical analysis is reflected also in the courses I teach, which include not only surveys and thematic courses about Christianity, with a primary focus on the West, but also undergraduate and graduate courses on anthropological, sociological, and philosophical approaches to the study of religion.

Selected Awards

  • Research Associate, Women's Studies in Religion Program at Harvard Divinity School, 2005-2006
  • Indiana University Trustees Teaching Award (2004)
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend (2002)

Research Interests

  • Christianity in the Renaissance and Reformation
  • Friendship and community formation
  • Devotional poetry
  • Gender, religion, and subjectivity

Courses Recently Taught

  • Catholic Controversies: From Trent to the Present
  • Interpretations of Religion
  • Christianity 400-1500
  • The Reformation: Body and Word

Publication Highlights


Erasmus, Contarini, and the Religious Republic of Letters. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.


“Invective and Discernment in Martin Luther, D. Erasmus, and Thomas More” Harvard Theological Review 98, no. 4 (October 2005): 469-88.

“'Intellects Inflamed in Christ': Women and Spiritualized Scholarship in Renaissance Christianity.” Journal of Religion 84, no. 1 (January 2004): 1-22.

“The Communication of Friendship: Gasparo Contarini's letters to hermits at Camaldoli.” Church History 72, no.1 (2003): 71-101.